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Your Future In Restaurants Starts Here

We are dedicated to changing lives and uplifting communities.

The Educational Foundation empowers people from all backgrounds with the training and education they need to secure a better future.

We do this through the vast opportunities offered in the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry.

Join us as we celebrate the people behind the restaurant industry’s big comeback. Their powerful stories of perseverance, community engagement and inclusion inspire us all to do our part.


Journeys that Inspire - Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion starts the series of uplifting stories, brought to you by PepsiCo. It features members of the restaurant industry who have championed diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and in many cases achieved the American Dream as immigrants to this country.

Elisia Flores, CEO
L&L Hawaiian Barbecue
Honolulu, Hawaii

This second-generation CEO is awed by the company’s impact on future owner-operators, many of whom are immigrants or come from disadvantaged backgrounds and are creating wealth and a legacy of their own. 


Ivan Flores, CEO & Founder
Buffalo Spot
Long Beach, California

This self-taught, up-and-coming entrepreneur and creator of the “world-famous buffalo fries” is a mentor to future franchisees.


Austina Smith, Chef
Grand Living at Bridgewater
Coralville, Iowa

Since winning NRAEF’s Faces of Diversity award in 2020, Smith has felt empowered to have deeper conversations about race with residents at her senior living community, as well as at her sons’ school.


Raveen Arora, Founder
The Dhaba
Tempe, Arizona

This 2017 NRAEF Faces of Diversity honoree with “a business mind and a servant heart” was born in a refugee camp in India and grew up in poverty. 


Read the Press Release

Read all of the Journeys that Inspire - Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion - Brought to you by PepsiCo

The NEW ProStart® Virtual Lounge is Live!

ProStart Virtual Lounge homepage

The ProStart Virtual Lounge, powered by Coca-Cola, is a new interactive networking site for the national ProStart community, including current and former students, educators, state coordinators, and mentors from the restaurant and foodservice industry.

The Virtual Lounge is a great place to chat with other students from across the country, track progress on individual goals, and check out exclusive culinary demos, tutorials, and enter contests that are only open to members of the ProStart community.

The Student Lounge is also a great place to meet students before competing together in local, state, and National ProStart Invitational competitions.


Restaurants Advance!

With support from Constellation Brands, we have launched a new national fundraising initiative to help current and future restaurant workers access the education and training they need to put their job or career back on track.

Restaurants Advance campaign banner


100% of every dollar donated supports the NRAEF's mission to empower and advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant workers. The work of the NRAEF includes offering scholarships to anyone building a future in restaurants; helping our military transition into the industry; providing apprenticeships and building pathways to independence for justice-involved youth through job skills training and mentoring.

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MFHA Celebrates 25 Years of Standing Up For Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

As part of the 25th anniversary celebration, industry leaders convened in Chicago at the National Restaurant Association headquarters to recognize MFHA milestones, announce future goals, and preview joint MFHA-NRAEF joint initiatives.

Read the Press Release

Future Restaurant Leaders Cook-Up Careers at the New ProStart Virtual Lounge

National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and The Coca-Cola Company have launched a new networking site for 130,000 ProStart students to exchange ideas, learn from alumni and the pros, and explore opportunities in the restaurant and foodservice industry.

Read the press release

USDOL Awards "HOPES" Reentry Program $4M to Train Justice-Involved Individuals for Jobs and Careers in the Restaurant Industry

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has awarded the HOPES (Hospitality Opportunities for People (re)Entering Society) program $4 million, which NRAEF will use to launch HOPES sites in four new states: Delaware, Michigan, Ohio, and Texas. 

Read the Press Release

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Support our mission to feed dreams and build futures in the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry. 100% of every dollar you donate will directly support the mission of the Foundation.

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